Star Topology vs. Mesh Topology

Star and Mesh Topology would be the kinds of the topologies where star topology comes under the peer to peer transmission and mesh topology works as a primary-secondary transmission. Nevertheless, these topologies mostly differ in the logical and physical arrangement of the devices that are connected. Star topology organises the devices around central controller called the hub.

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Comparison Chart

Basis  Star Topology Mesh Topology
Organisation The peripheral nodes are connected
to the central node(ex. hub, switch or router).
It contains at least two nodes
with two or more paths between them.
Installation and reconfiguration Easier Difficult
Cost Comparatively less Expensive due to extensive
cabling.
Robustness Intermediate Highly robust
Cabling requirements Uses twisted pair cables which
cover distance up to 100 meters.
Twisted pair, coaxial, fibre optic
cable, any of the cable type can be used depending on the type of networks.
Routing mechanism All the information is routed from
the central network connection.
Information is directly routed
from one device to another.
Scalability Good Poor
Complexity Simple Quite complex
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What is Star Topology?

A central controller that is connected to each of the other devices through point-to-point links is referred to as a star topology. If a device wants to communicate or send information to another device, priorly it must send data to the central controller. Then the central control relays the data to the intended destination.

  • In the first approach, it may broadcast the frames into the central node and central node retransmit it on all of the outside links so that it can reach into the last node. In this scenario, the organisation of the system nodes resembles a star , but these are linked in a bus topology, where each of the other nodes get the transmitted data.
  • The second approach includes routing and switching functions where the central star coupler acts as a frame-switching device.
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The star topology enables the high-speed data transfer particularly when the central control is used as a switch. Here the number of connections is equal to the amount of nodes. This topology is flexible and maintained economically, compared to other topologies.

Advantages of the Star Topology

  • It reduces the moving of the packets in the excess number of nodes.
  • The nodes are isolated from one another.
  • Central hub facilitates the simple addition of the new apparatus.
  • It’s easy to comprehend, navigate and install.
  • Faulty parts can be readily detected and eliminated.

Disadvantages of the Star Topology

  • The operation of this system highly depends on the central hub.
  • Any lapse in the central hub could result in the inoperability of the whole system.
  • Scalability relies on the capacity of the central hub.

What is Mesh Topology?

Mesh topology joins the node in a sense that every node is associated with the other node with a dedicated point-to-point connection. Therefore, it creates n(n-1)/2 links to connect n number of devices, which is a bit too much. The form of media used to link the nodes can be twisted pair, coaxial, or optical fibre cable. This type of topology does not require any additional information about the packet such as the source address or destination address because two nodes are connected directly.

Advantages of the Mesh Topology

  • The node organisation in mesh topology aids in more than 1 transmission of information from one node to another node simultaneously.
  • Mesh topology provides security and privacy with the point-to-point links.
  • It’s robust, failure of a single link doesn’t influence the other system.
  • Fault isolation and identification are also straightforward.

Disadvantages of the Mesh Topology

  • This system configuration may create redundant network connections since there are some connections that are useless.
  • The total cost of this topology is also increased due to an excessive quantity of cabling and need of i/o ports.
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 Key Differences

  1. The flexibility of the mesh topology is quite low and has a bad scalability element. This is the reason it’s a quite expensive topology.
  2. The Star topology organises the nodes in a star shape in which the central hub is attached to each of the other nodes.
  3. Simple setup and reconfiguration is possible from the star topology. while, mesh topology requires more transmission media, effort and time for installation and reconfiguration.
  4. Star topology is cheap to some degree, while the mesh is expensive.
  5. The star topology has a drawback in which the inoperative central hub can make the whole system inoperative. To the contrary, the mesh topology is stronger than the star topology.
  6. Star topology only uses twisted pair cable as a transmission media while, Mesh topology can use any transmission media such as twisted-pair wire, coaxial cable or optical fiber, but it requires more amount of cabling.
  7. Flexibility and scalability of the star topology is great whereas mesh topology is not as scalable because it directly increases the expense of the system.
  8. The routing in the star topology is done with the help of the star coupler Conversely, mesh topology directly transmits the information from one node to another with a point-to-point link.

Conclusion

Star topology is effective in terms of the price while the mesh is a fantastic option once the speed and security of the information transmission is your concern.

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